Cabot J.,Multimedia University |
Pau R.,GTD Inc |
Raventos R.,Polytechnic University of Catalonia
Information Systems | Year: 2010
UML is currently the most widely used modeling language for the specification of the conceptual schema (CS) of an information system (IS). However, UML falls short when it comes to allow business people to define in their own language (e.g. using their own terms in natural language) the policies and rules by which they run their business. To this purpose, the semantics of business vocabulary and business rules (SBVR) metamodel specification was proposed. SBVR is conceptualized optimally for business people and it is designed to be used for business purposes, independently of information systems designs. Clearly, SBVR and unified modeling language (UML) cannot be considered as isolated languages. Many of the business rules specified by business people must be automatically executed by the underlying information system, and thus, they must also appear in its UML CS. In this sense, the main goal of this paper is to bridge the gap between UML and SBVR by providing an automatic transformation from UML to SBVR specifications. Thanks to our transformation, designers will be able to interact with the business people (in their own language) to refine and validate the information modeled in the CS before the generation of the final IS implementation. Our transformation also takes into account all possible textual object constraint language (OCL) expressions that complement the UML graphical elements. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
News Article | May 11, 2015
Handmade jewelry isn’t just nice to look at; it can also be a powerful teaching tool. Dana Mauriello is using online crafting to help residents of underserved neighborhoods learn business basics. Her five-week program, called Etsy Craft Entrepreneurship, helps students create their own online store while learning about marketing, pricing, accounting, and other subjects. "We’re teaching pride and empowerment," says Mauriello. "One of the things I’m most proud of is when [participants] say, ‘I feel like I now have skills that people care about and that matter.’" After pilot programs in 10 cities—more than 450 people have participated since the first class launched in 2013 in Rockford, Illinois—Etsy Craft Entrepreneurship is now expanding nationwide. Where or how do you seek out creative inspiration? I am obsessive with finding, cataloging, and doing new activities. A dancefloor meditation? A talk on game design? A tattoo convention? Done, done, and done. I am on an endless quest to learn about and personally experience as many diverse subcultures as possible and never leave home without my adventure backpack and a notebook so that I can collect inspiration and log new ideas. What's the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? I think about what I'm most excited about in the day ahead. Since the first thing I see when I open my eyes, is my window, that answer is often: 'Sunshine!' What is one thing about your job that you think would surprise people? Even with a community of over 1.3 million active sellers, we still refer to sellers by name, not as numbers. What's your favorite Twitter or Instagram account and why? Advanced Style. Ari Seth Cohen is an incredibly talented photographer and blogger that chronicles the fashion, adventures, and wisdom of older women on Instagram. I am lucky enough to know some of these illustrious Advanced Style ladies personally and count them as among the most creative and inspirational individuals I've ever met. As a passionate devotee of vintage cruise wear and over-sized costume jewelry, this is my go-to source for fashion tips. How do you keep track of everything you have to do. I use Evernote + GTD to keep track of my tasks, ideas, and notes. I use Post-its on the inside of a vintage steamer trunk at home to keep track of my personal projects and dreams. The toughest thing for me to keep track of is all of the activities that I want to do, so I created Make Today Awesome for that (development credit and infinite gratitude for that goes to the amazing Adam Anderson who was an engineer at ProFounder, my last startup). What are some things you do to refresh your mind when you're in a rut? I've been a competitive powerlifter for the last 15 years and nothing makes me feel more refreshed, clear minded, and empowered than lifting very heavy things. In general, I love anything fitness related and am a regular at everything from underwater cycling to trampoline yoga, but the weight room is ultimate happy place. Who outside of your field inspires you the most and why? Don Giustino. Don Giustino is a Benedictine monk at the L'Abbazia di Praglia and develops cosmetics sold at the monastery. Stanford was gracious (crazy?) enough to let me pause my engineering work in college to study the development of skincare products by Italian Benedictine Monks and that's how he and I met. He has achieved his own amazing version of 'having it all' by finding time to grow his cosmetic chemistry expertise within the constraints of his regimented prayer schedule and limited access to resources at the monastery. He also never stops reaching for greatness, and every time I visit him he has iterated on his formulas and made them better. Most importantly, he is deeply, authentically happy and has taught me to be the same.
News Article | February 15, 2012
Update: For more on Clear, be sure to check out our interview with creator Phill Ryu here. Some apps do a really good job of selling you what they have. They wrap features in beautiful graphics and lead you through the process of how they work with gorgeously descriptive text and images that conform perfectly to the way we all think an app should work. Then there are apps that make you re-think the way that you’ve been using apps altogether, breaking the mold and re-forming it with just a few minutes of use. Clear is that kind of app. Clear is the first app from fresh development studio Impending, founded by tap tap tap partner Phill Ryu and David Lanham of the Iconfactory, in partnership with Milen Dzhumerov, and the hugely talented folks at Realmac Software, who made the lovely Analog. To be completely honest, Clear [App Store, $0.99] is a simple and relatively limited list app. It’s probably not going to make your ‘getting things done’ workflow crumble and reform around it, and it lacks a ton of must-have features for any big GTD fan. But it is a very good basic scratchpad for items that you’d like to remember on a short-term basis. More importantly, it has an intensely clever user interface that has the potential to be a harbinger of things to come on multitouch devices. Since the introduction of the iPhone OS on the very first iPhone, Apple’s design conventions have called for having on-screen buttons that emulate, via software, the behavior of traditional physical buttons. Back, next, new and many other commands are primarily activated via icon or word-emblazoned buttons. Clear takes a different tack, as its interface lacks any standard buttons and operates completely through gestures, taps or direct manipulation of the list items on the screen. To create new list items, you drag down. To reorder them, you tap and hold, then slide. To insert a new item between two others you pinch apart and to go ‘back’ a level, you pinch inwards. Swiping left or right will check an item off or delete it. There are some simple options, like determining what theme the app is skinned in and how it notifies you, but just the basics. The ‘heatmap’ shows you priority of devices in color tone as well as vertical orientation on the list, simple but effective. Frankly it’s so different from how apps normally work and offers so little assistance to thos unfamiliar with gestures that the guys at Realmac and Impending, the two studios responsible for Clear, had a tough time deciding how to introduce new users to using the app. But once a user is familiar with just the basic operation of the app, they take off like a rocket using them with ease. This quick adoption is something that I have had the chance to observe quite a bit since I began using the app early in January and showing it off to people in person. I was interested in seeing if its operation translated well to others, and it did. I actually used the app heavily throughout CES and Macworld in order to keep a scratch list of booths that I wanted to visit and products that I wanted to try. It provided a nice counterpart to my note app of choice, Notefile. The gesture-based interface of Clear held up well in the sweat and crowds of a trade show floor, all while I was holding a heavy bag and stabbing at it with tired fingers. In fact, it felt even easier to use in a lot of those scenarios because I wasn’t hunting for tiny buttons to hit. To me, this demonstrates that there is worth in this gesture-focused UI concept and that it is worth exploring further in other products. Some interesting gestures to try out while using the app: A couple of nice easter eggs are also built into the app. If you don’t have any active tasks, or you’ve completed the ones in a list, you will get a random inspirational quote. There are also some hidden themes, three of them to be exact, to be unlocked in the app as you explore it and share the news about it. There are also some apps that will unlock new themes if you have them installed along with Clear, we’ll let you figure those out on your own. Clear is hands-down worth picking up if you’re interested in good design and have any need for a simple list-making-and-completing app. But even beyond its immediate worth, I think that it could signal the next level of interaction with our multitouch devices. It’s roughly five years into the multitouch revolution and users have become familiarized with the tapping, swiping and gestures involved in the daily use of tablets and smartphones. Watch any two-year old interact with an iPad for any length of time and you’ll see the power of a natural UI at work. I think that we’re ready to leave buttons behind and enter the next level of smartphone interfaces. Interfaces dominated by natural interaction instincts and not slavish conformity to the conventions of physical buttons. And I welcome it with open arms as I’ve experienced first hand how fast and enjoyable to use this kind of interface can be. If you’re interested in trying out the future of multitouch user interfaces — admittedly in a relatively limited, if beautiful and useful, app — then you’ll definitely want to try out Clear for yourself. Read about the latest apps right now at TNW Apps.
News Article | February 15, 2013
Not many entrepreneurs manage a big-bucks exit to a tech giant such as BlackBerry (formally known as RIM) , but that’s exactly what TAT-founder Hampus Jakobsson did more than two years ago. TAT stands for The Astonishing Tribe, and back in December 2010, the Swedish team joined RIM in the wake of a $150m acquisition to work on the BlackBerry PlayBook and smartphone platforms. TAT made a name for itself based on its mobile UX and UI designs, and was used by numerous companies. At planet BlackBerry, TAT (and thus Jakobsson) were heavily involved in the design for BlackBerry 10, but he opted to leave the company last summer, indicating a desire to launch another startup. While there was a shortage of specifics at the time, all has now been revealed. Step forward Dexplora, a new company built by TAT founders Jakobsson and Mikael Tellhed, that’s focusing on building mobile apps for the enterprise, the first of which is GetSalesDone which launched this week in private beta. “GetSalesDone is like a GTD system built on top of the CRM system,” explains Jakobsson. “At TAT, we spent all our living time fixing the UI of mobile phones, while we sat in the enterprise software of CRMs, time-reporting, project-planning and so on,” he continues. “We of course updated all these systems to the latest SaaS systems and didn’t use dinosaur software, but anyhow, the user experience was abysmal.” And so, after almost two years at RIM, Jakobsson and Tellhed decided they wanted to fix that problem. “We want beautiful and easy to use enterprise software,” says Jakobsson. As with any new platform, it’s helpful to know what problem exactly it’s trying to solve. Having never really worked in the sales realm before myself, I’ve no real concept of how a typical sales person would operate when trying to seal a deal. “It really depends on how rigid the management is about recording, but what most people do is when they call and talk to customers, they don’t report it in the CRM system at all,” explains Jakobsson. ” “But when something really obvious and tangible happens, for example sending the NDA or a quote, then they’ll put a note in the CRM System, and then on Friday afternoon they’ll look at their calendar to get as much of it right as they can,” he continues. “That’s what most people do – and I’d say a lot of sales people don’t even use the CRM system at all, they’ll use Microsoft Excel, which scales really badly of course.” The problem, as they see it, is that CRM software is great for many things, but at that very initial point, where a sales person is working to build and develop customer relations in the first instance, there is a big gap. But it’s every bit as procedural as other facets of business, and thus should be recorded accordingly – which is where a dedicated mobile app comes into play, meaning they can update on the spot when they’re out and about. “CRM Systems are great, you can have multiple people inputting the same thing, it logs all the changes, it’s a really good system for business intelligence, but it’s a database with a UI slapped on top of it,” adds Jakobsson. “And Salesforce is the best thing out there, it’s enterprise grade, Saas-based, really secure, and you can get new people on and off it super easy. But their actual customers are the IT department and the managers.” So Dexplora set about working on GetSalesDone, an iOS app for sales people that follows similar design principles as to what you may already be familiar with in other productivity apps such as Clear. A Web app will follow at some point too, but for now the mobile app is where it’s at, integrating with the Salesforce API, so that management and others can continue to use the CRM, while sales folk on the ground can access a separate interface built with them specifically in mind. The mobile app is currently in beta, but will be hitting the App Store “within weeks,” and Android, BlackBerry and other versions will follow in due course. If you’re used to other to-do list apps, then the interface here certainly looks familiar, with pulls and swipes the order of the day. The app essentially makes ‘opportunities’, ‘contacts’ and ‘accounts’ accessible on the move, while letting users create individual tasks that they can ‘swipe’ off when they’re complete. So GetSalesDone seems to be about tidying up the current CRM system, ensuring opportunities aren’t missed and giving sales people a tool they actually want to use. “Sales people must get better tools,” says Jakobsson. “We know that if the UX of the CRM is great they would actually use it – not only wielding better results for the company, but of course also making the reports more accurate.”
News Article | February 28, 2014
Denis Duvauchelle is CEO and co-founder of Twoodo, helping your team organize itself using simple #hashtags. When you look at any of the thought leaders in marketing and copywriting, read any top keyword research guide (from Hubspot, Copyblogger, Moz) they will all tell you the same thing: You gotta get your keyword research right. What will keyword research impact on? Why? Language links to identity. You need to know the language your (potential) customers are using. If you do not use similar language, you cannot attract more and will alienate the ones you have. We are a team collaboration tool. We found that amongst others we appealed to people interested in the GTD (Getting Things Done) movement after our keyword research. Sure, it had crossed our minds but we assumed it was not that important. Language is a tool you can use to build data about your ideal users, where they are, how to find them and how to attract them. The language you use impacts the copywriting of your website, email transactions, tweets, blog posts, press releases, customer support messages. People identify with the things they use – here are some amazing survey results about iPhones, Androids and Blackberry users: …and without having to go into detail, you can instantly imagine the ads for each of these products and nod in agreement. Apple appealing to the vain? Blackberry appealing to the business class? Yes, that sounds right. These companies got their language right. They got their keywords right. This allowed them to target the people who would get the most value out of their products. This is customer discovery at its most primitive stage. And a lot of people get it wrong. Let’s start by mentioning a few well-known facts. You are not going to rank for a singular word. If you are selling wine online, you are not going to rank for “wine.” It’s going to be at least a two-word phrase, if not more. As a newcomer, you will have to get a) specific and b) creative with your keyword targeting. Creative: Say it in a way that still makes sense to the core product. It’s harder than it looks. Let’s make a hypothetical case study for “tailored suits.” Don’t forget to use quotation marks at all times in your search to keep the search accurate. Make a list of as many grammatical variations as possible about the core things your product does/offers/solves. If you are having trouble feeling inspired, sometimes the WebCorpLSE tool works (but it is a little limited). It is a database of online language that allows you to see the most common phrases that people use around a word. In the filters on the side, you can choose how many surrounding words are visible (more gives you more context, but less gives you focused keywords): What I learn from this is that “tailored suits” are often accompanied by luxury words such as “exquisite.” This indicates the section of society I should look to and the style of copy I should use. Also, black accessories are mentioned twice. I may need to consider black as an important color on my website. Pro tip: if you feel overwhelmed, start with 10, run them through the process, and then return and try the next 10. Scroll to the bottom and check out what the suggested phrases are; list the most likely (eliminate question words like “what is…”) Also, it can be useful to see what Google predicts you are typing – this indicates how someone would find what you are trying to offer them. Make a note of relevant suggestions. If you have doubts about Google’s trustworthiness, try an alternative search such as a forum or Bing. I decided to use a personal favorite (Quora) just out of curiosity: So far, just from the first step, we have learned that there is interest in a) the cost of tailored suits, b) people want to get them online, c) they want to know if tailored suits are really worth it and d) there is a strong interest in the USA and China. This is fantastic! You can help answer those questions and solve those pains. Before you get over-excited though, put these bits of data to the test through the rest of the steps. The Google keyword planner is made for Google Adwords, rather than organic searches. However, it is one of the most common industry search tools to indicate the popularity of search terms in general. Go to Google AdWords – tools – keyword planner. Choose the first search options, type in “tailored suits,” hit enter and then choose the tab “keyword ideas.” Let’s compare a general search to a search based on some of the information we have gleaned from step 2: Interesting! It seems that “custom made” and “tailor made” are candidates. That’s not to say that the general results are not useful – it depends if you think your service needs to be geographically limited or not. But the filters make a huge difference in the keywords you can end up targeting. Take advantage of the 30-day free trial if you are not sure about signing up. Moz has great research tools, with my favorite being the “keyword difficulty” tool. The first column is the “keyword difficulty” rating. Aim for Note that in the filters you can choose between different countries and Google, Yahoo and Bing search engines. If you happen to know what search engine your users use most, great! If not, Google is the most common. You can export the Google keyword planner results and Moz results to .csv and start eliminating keywords that just don’t fit your product (keyword research does tend to get out of hand at times). 6. Cross-check which keywords fit the criteria of Google’s low competition Select words that have high monthly searches and low Moz difficulty. Search each keyword and mark the wikipedia URL closest to the keyword. Why? Wikipedia results rank top of Google search results more often than not. You’ll be looking for what the Wikipedia pages are ranking for, and if you can fine-tune your shortlist. 9. Run the URL of wikipedia page through Google keyword planner and see what it ranks for. …and you should get something like this (after applying filters – mine were >1000 and low): 10. Test these keywords in Moz – and make your final list Run them through Moz and find out their difficulty rating, just as in step 4. Take anything with less than 50 percent difficulty. Now, hopefully you have a massive database of information about a) the social and cultural status of your ideal customer, b) the language they use, c) the locations where your company may be more/less successful and d) what parts of the market are saturated. You now have key information to support the website design, the copy style and a content marketing strategy. You can use these keywords to find influencers, find trending stories, or find followers for your social accounts. Oh, and you’re ready and set to go with the next part of what the keyword research is the base of: building backlinks to increase rankings and improve SEO.